Island Shrine Cave (S5)
This cave is on the north side of the “island” that raises above the level of the arroyo to the north of the Pez Gallo site. The cave faces north east and is at arroyo level and is the only cave on this side of the “island”. Cave is about 10 meters wide 4 meters high and 3 meters deep. Location is N26.74xxx. W 111.91xxx, and altitude is 25 meters.
This cave is notable due to a natural formation in the volcanic tuft rock resembling a hanging shrine or crypt about 1 meter high with one side open to the arroyo.
Photo of Jim Workman at ‘shrine’
No art is seen in this cave but there are 2 metates, one quite light and “portable” at about 10 kilos. The site is frequented by cattle and other animals. Loose dirt on floor of shelter may provide tools and other artifacts if excavated. There is a slight scattering of shell presence here, probably due to water from the arroyo scouring them away.
Peninsula Cave (S6)
Peninsula Cave (S6)
This standard cave is located on the east point of the “peninsula” to the west of the “Island” and at the ‘entrance to the arroyo’ and is easily seen from a distance. The cave faces north east and has a discernable forecourt with a prominent Palo Blanco tree in front.
Cave is about 16 meters wide at the mouth, 3 meters high and 5 meters deep. Location is N26.74xxx. W 111.91xxx, and is at an altitude of 66 meters.
Pez Gallo Shelter. (Sometimes called “The Family Cave”) (S7)
This shelter is definitely not the location we were looking for but it is worth a visit for the art there. It is located about 2kms inside the arroyo El Tordillo at N26.74xxx, W111.91xxx While GPS shows this shelter at an altitude of 33 meters above sea level, it is at the level of the arroyo and faces north.
The shelter is about 25 meters wide, about 4 meters high and only about 2 meters deep. The rock material is exclusively volcanic tuft with some prominent boulders sticking out from the background material. Some slight black staining of the walls give the impression of being smoke blackened but may be due to oxidized minerals. There is a good sized shell midden in front of the cave.
The art work is exclusively painted and there are no discernable petroglyphs. There is a grouping of three Mono figures that contain one female one male and one smaller female mono in the middle from which could come the name Family Cave. They are outlined in red and have red vertical striped interiors. Below the right side figure (female)’s left hand there is a vertical fish.
Cochimi tradition dictates that humans (monos) are always shown face on, never in profile. Female forms show the breasts protruding to either side below the arms. Sexual organs are usually shown.
The painting of note is on a low overhanging rock to the left of the shelter that contains a large fish with paint in good condition. The fish is about 100cms long, outlined in red with a prominent dorsal fin and what could be the raised hackles of a Rooster Fish, hence the other name of the cave.
photo: pez 15 _flt_lre
There are other pictures that are in fair condition that could be turtles, fish, handprints and others.